A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

The Presence of Magazines on the Internet

TBG has recently completed a research study called "Analyzing the Presence of Magazines on the Internet". In the wake of success surrounding our previous newspaper study, "The Use of the Internet by America's Newspapers ", we decided to conduct similar research on the magazine industry. Our study reviews the websites of the top 50 most circulated magazines in the United States and evaluates them based on the presence or absence of various Web 2.0 features. After finishing the research, it became clear that magazines are not making use of Web 2.0. Despite their failure in terms of Web features, it should be recognized that magazines have taken on a more effective general strategy than newspapers when it comes to the Internet. Instead of replicating printed content online, as newspapers do, magazines have made efforts to publish unique, Web specific, and easily digestible materials on their websites. In this way, magazines are using the Internet as a supplement to, rather than a replacement of, their printed publications. Magazine websites limit their article content and focus on pushing customers to purchasing printed subscriptions. Here are some key findings from our research:

  • The most common online feature offered by magazines is RSS feeds (48 per cent). All of the RSS feeds offered by magazine websites are partial feeds. In addition, none of the magazines are including advertisements in their RSS feeds, while just 28 per cent of magazines divide their RSS feeds into different sections.
  • Message boards/forums are offered by 46 per cent of magazine websites. This seemingly old-fashioned form of communication is extremely popular on magazine websites, particularly on the sites of women’s magazines.
  • 38 per cent of the magazines require registration to view all of the site’s content. While this feature is only present on 23 per cent of the nation’s top 100 newspaper sites, it seems that magazines are still heavily reliant on website registration. It must be noted, however, that newspaper and magazine online registration is very different. The large majority of the magazines we investigated allow users to view article content free of registration. However, to participate in forums, registration is required. This seems to serve as a mechanism for monitoring content that people post on message boards rather than to collect demographic information, as is the case with newspapers. Thus, this 38 per cent figure largely represents magazines that require forum registration, not registration for the purpose of reading articles.
  • 40 per cent of the magazines offer at least one reporter blog. Readers can comment on 17 of the 19 magazine blogs, while eight reporter blogs offer blogrolls, or external links to other blogs.
  • Video is an offering on 34 per cent of websites.
  • Just 14 per cent of websites use podcasts and bookmarking; eight percent allow comments on articles; and six per cent use tags.

You can read the report in its entirety here and view our data sheets here Please take a look and let us know what you think!

Exploring Enron's Emails

After 200 of Enron's internal emails were placed in the public domain by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioned (FERC) back in 2003, innovative software company Trampoline Systems created the Enron Explorer based on their own SONAR platform. In the Enron case, SONAR was able to illustrate existing social networks and information by analyzing email content from the entire organization during the 1999-2003 time period. Though the 200 emails that became part of the investigation are not representative of every part of the company, the sample does give insight into internal communications at the highest levels at Enron before, during and after its collapse.


Republicans Outnumber Democrats Online

A recent study from Nielson//Netratings found that there are more Republicans than Democrats online. Of U.S. adults surveyed, 36.6 percent identified themselves as Republicans, 30.8 percent as Democrats and 17.3 percent as Independents.

This makes perfect sense given that other studies have shown that Republicans tend to earn more money than Democrats. The more money you make the more likely you are to have Internet access.

Here are some other tidbits from the study:

Based on the sites named, it’s clear the survey only looked at mainstream media sites and didn’t dive into the blogosphere. Be interesting to see the breakdown for the most popular political blogs.

Newspaper Website Performance: More than Just the Features

Image Courtesy of GannettInspired by our meeting last week with LA Times reporter T. Christian  Miller, I decided to take a closer look at some of our data from the newspaper study we conducted this summer.  I wanted to see how the online versions of newspapers are performing compared to their print circulations.  The findings were interesting and indicate that there are many  factors besides Web features that play a role in making a newspaper website successful.


Which Senate Candidate has the Most Popular Website?

Erin had a little free time today so we decided to build on our campaign study and do some quick research to see which US Senate candidates had the most popular websites.   Please note that the site rank and reach per million data included in the table below is taken from Alexa.  We included the blog column based on our own research.

Note that many people consider Alexa data to be extremely flawed. So take our findings as anecdotes.  No one should write their PHD dissertation based on what you see here.

Before listing the data, here are some observations about the findings:

(1) The sites of CT candidates Ned Lamont and Senator Joe Lieberman are #1 and #2 in traffic due to the intense amount of interest their primary battle attracted both in the blogosphere and in the mainstream press.   Their sites are well ahead of those of any other candidates.

(2) 13 of the top 20 (65%) sites that attracted the most traffic were run by Democrats.  Six (30%) belonged to Republican candidates and one (5%) was run by an Independent (Lieberman).

(3) The least popular sites were equally split among the parties. Ten of the sites belong to Republican and ten belong to Democrats.

(4) 14 of the 20 (70%) most popular sites included blogs.  Only six of the 20 (30%) least popular sites had blogs.  While factors like how competitive a race is and the size of the state undoubtedly play a big role in traffic figures, I think it is pretty clear that blogs do play a role in driving traffic.

Following are the results:

Candidate Name Party Site Rank Reach per million Blog?
Lamont, Ned D-CT 69,223 27 Yes
Lieberman, Joe I-CT 106,399 19 Yes
Webb, Jim D-VA 252,000 5.3 Yes
Clinton, Hillary D-NY 259,810 4.05 No
Allen, George R-VA 318,516 4.15 Yes
Harris, Katherine R-FL 333,619 3.65 No
Casey, Bob D-PA 338,532 3.55 Yes
Santorum, Rick R-PA 373,240 2.85 Yes
Kennedy, Ted D-MA 384,977 3.3 Yes
McCaskill, Claire D-MO 451,708 2.75 Yes
Tester, Jon D-MT 476,381 2.15 Yes
Ashdown, Pete D-UT 476,452 2.05 Yes
Klobuchar, Amy D-MN 498,905 1.85 No
Cantwell, Maria D-WA 517,918 1.9 Yes
Brown, Sherrod D-OH 539,171 1.8 Yes
McGavick, Mike R-WA 562,788 1.5 Yes
Corker, Bob R-TN 584,685 1.55 No
Ford, Harold Jr. D-TN 609,777 2 No
Carter, Jack D-NV 642,398 1.1 Yes
Burns, Conrad R-MT 828,534 0.8 No
Bouchard, Mike R-MI 991,558 0.75 Yes
Tarrant, Rich R-VT 997,650 0.55 Yes
Nelson, Bill D-FL 1,008,100 0.6 No
Dewine, Mike R-OH 1,030,216 0.7 No
, Jim
D-AZ 1,061,624 0.5 No
Raese, Jim R-WV 1,088,769 0.4 No
Kean, Tom R-NJ 1,158,875 0.45 Yes
Kennedy, Mark R-MN 1,158,875 0.45 Yes
Hay Bright, Jean D-ME 1,229,651 0.35 Yes
Chafee, Lincoln R-RI 1,272,159 0.45 No
Talent, Jim R-MO 1,370,825 0.5 No
Radnofsky, Barbara Ann D-TX 1,425,639 0.3 Yes
Kyl, Jon R-AZ 1,433,237 0.45 No
Stabenow, Debbie D-MI 1,459,546 0.45 Yes
Whitehouse, Sheldon D-RI 1,663,920 0.25 Yes
Mountjoy, Dick R-CA 1,727,518 0.25 No
Ricketts, Pete R-NE 1,870,334 0.25 No
Spencer, John R-NY 1,919,976 0.35 Yes
Byrd, Robert D-WV 1,989,144 0.2 No
Fleming, Erik D-MS 2,098,929 0.15 No
Ensign, John R-NV 2,156,985 0.2 Yes
Steele, Michael R-MD 2,776,888 0.2 Yes
Groutage, Dale D-WY 2,872,933 0.1 No
Hatch, Orrin R-UT 4,203,588 0.1 Yes
Ting, Jan R-DE 4,931,853 0.05 No
Nelson, Ben D-NE 5,608,587 0.05 No
Kohl, Herb D-WI 5,618,551 0.1 No
Conrad, Kent D-ND 5,621,699 0.05 No
Carper, Thomas D-DE 5,877,096 0.045 No
Menendez, Bob D-NJ 6,152,317 0.045 Yes
Hutchinson, Kay Bailey R-TX 6,530,867 N/A No
Grotberg, Dwight R-ND  6,050,491 0.045 No
Akaka, Daniel R-HI N/A N/A No
Bingaman, Jeff D-NM N/A N/A No
Chase, Ken R-MA N/A N/A No
Feinstein, Diane D-CA N/A N/A No
Lugar, Dick R-IN N/A N/A No
McCulloch, Allen R-NM N/A N/A Yes